Teaching staff at Lambeth College have now been on strike for five weeks.
The workers are fighting new contracts that attack pay and conditions, which would affect all new workers and create a two-tier workforce at the college. It is a critical dispute, the outcome of which could help or hinder conditions for many other workers in further education.
Representatives of the University and College Union and Lambeth College bosses have now restarted negotiations.
The new contracts include: an increase in working hours, and a lower hourly rate of pay, reduced holiday, reduced sick pay.
Unison members at the college have also taken two short strikes.
Management at the College have tried to use the anti-trade union laws to stop the democratic decision of UCU members to strike. They have used intimidatory tactics against strikers threatening trade union reps with completely spurious disciplinary charges for their role in the dispute. They have threatened not to negotiate as long as the strike continues.
But the strike is having a huge effect. Classes have been cancelled, enrolment is down.
As negotiations restart it is important that trade unionists, community and student activists get down to the picket lines to boost support for the strike.
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